According to a recent study, convenience meals have increased in relevance during the corona crisis, as they provide solutions to changing demands in society. At the same time, demand is increasingly directed towards vegetarian and vegan options, creating enormous growth and investment opportunities that are set to continue.
Conventional ready meals are traditionally considered unhealthy and consumers are turning to plant-based ready meals following rising health awareness in the wake of the pandemic. A report this July showed that 46% of consumers understand animal meat-based ready meals are unhealthy for them and that 12% of global consumers consume plant-based ready meals on a weekly basis.
One major trend emerging is the addition of plant-based meat into ready meals. Speaking to Storebrands, Jennifer Mapes-Christ from Packaged Facts, noted: “Incorporating plant-based meat into prepared foods is the ultimate convenience.”
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- At the beginning of this year, we reported that interest in vegan convenience foods was trending for 2020.
- The German producer famous for its sausages Rügenwalder Mühle, saw sales in the convenience segment of its meat-free products rise by 300% in the first half of 2020.
- UK’s AllPlants surpassed its crowdfunding target of 2 million pounds after only 48 hours.
- Fable Foods expanded across Australia with meals containing its vegan braised beef.
- OmniFoods rolled out into 800 7-Eleven stores in Hong Kong and Macau, having already partnered with ALDI to launch vegan ready meals in Shanghai earlier in the year, as well as launching Omnipork instant meals into 3600 Family Marts in Taiwan.
- Spanish meat producer Carretilla launched plant-based ready meals containing Heura meat.
- A report by Eating Better in September found that in the UK, the number of plant-based ready meals on the market rose sharply from 3% in 2018 to 16% in 2020.
- Prime Roots launched a range of meals including its lauded koji bacon and other koji-based meats into Whole Foods.
Discussing the future of the convenience sector, Claudia Hauschild, Head of Corporate Communications at Rügenwalder Mühle, told LP: “We assume that the consumer’s desire for uncomplicated food such as convenience products will continue in the future. And the trend towards meat-free alternatives will also increase.”